Curated from: Learn - shy
How long should we wait before sex? | Should couples split the bill? | How many dates before making it official? | How can I tell if my partner is still interested in the relationship? | How long should you wait to date after a breakup?
Just like people, relationships come in all shapes, sizes, and packages, and while they all are beautiful, sometimes, you can’t help but wonder whether you and your partner have been hitting certain “milestones” at the right time.
It’s so common to hear of people saying that “everything is moving too quickly” in their partnership, while others express their frustration over not having their relationships labelled.
We previously asked you on our Instagram stories for some of the relationship timelines that you consider the most ideal, so read on to find out your responses and more!
How long should we wait before sex?
Is there any truth to the “no sleeping together before the 3rd date” rule? Maybe your google searches bordered on “how long do i really have to wait before sex” if the person you were out with ignited the flames in your privates 🔥🤤, or you were more concerned about the maximum timing you could wait to have sex if you felt a little pressure to get in bed with someone 😒.
As corny as it might be, there really is no set, magic number of dates you have to go on before it is deemed acceptable to have sex with someone. Some relationships are purely sexual, while some have the potential to become something more, and others are pursued with the intent of going into a long-term partnership.
The answer is best found when looking inward, and analysing based on what you and your partner are feeling when the issue comes around. As a start, good guiding question to have are:
When listening to my intuition, is it telling me that I am ready for sex?
How will I communicate my sexual desires or non-desires to my partner effectively?
Should couples split the bill?
How awkward it was — when I was on a date and chose to pay because I wanted to get more credit card points, and when the waiter returned us the tab, the card was returned to the guy I was on a date with instead of me, and the 😳 of everyone at the table. In a time when both partners have similar sources of income or are both still students, who should cover the bill? Or if you were to split, what’s the best way to go about it?
While there’s still a lot of societal stereotypes on how the male should pay for dates, modern times come for modern traditions! This can start by offering to pay for your own food, or events/activity costs — especially if you know your financial situations are similar or if you are earning more.
Some other hacks acquired along the way:
My partner and I agreed to pay for the meal if we suggested the place because sometimes the food we personally craved bordered on the more expensive side, so we felt that it was fairer to the other party.
Make up for the receipts in different ways! He paid for dinner? No worries, you could always treat for dessert or drinks.
Another friend and his partner also set up a joint bank account as this let them feel like it was a good way to plan for and contribute towards their future. And (his words, lol) if they were to ever split up, at least their breakup would come with a little monetary gift 😅
How many dates before making it official?
Before becoming official, be sure that you know each other well enough to have an accurate judge of who they are in terms of personality, habits, and quirks, while also ensuring that the “officiating” comes at a time where the spark is still alive and has yet to fizzle out.
If you’ve been dating for a while, you’ve both been enjoying yourselves and you see no reason not to, simply sit down and talk to each other about whether you’re ready for a ‘proper’ relationship. While you may think you know what the other person wants, it’s difficult to really tell without asking them, especially with someone you don’t know that well yet.
Once again, having proper communication minimises the potential for misunderstandings to creep in and ruin what good you both have at this point, and with something as important as a relationship, you don’t really want to take the risk.
Not all relationships are the same, and talking it through in this way will minimise the potential for heartbreak later on as you can be sure you both are on the same page before one of you decides to take it to another level.
Some signs that you are ready to transit from casual dating to a long-term relationship:
You have good communication, or you both acknowledge that it is an area to work on and are putting in the effort to make it better
You have both incorporated each other into your lives fully
Subsequently, a similar process can be employed when you want to decide on whether or not you should move in together.
And especially for couples who are planning to move in together in Singapore, because that usually means they would also be marrying each other!! Communication and talking to your partner to see if they are on the same page as you is always essential before choosing to progress or even end a relationship so that the heartbreak is minimised, and also so that you can put in the effort to work on the issues present in order to get to the next stage of the relationship.
Checking to see if your lifestyles, finances, and overall lives are compatible and intertwined is also another thing to look out for.
How can I tell if my partner is still interested in the relationship?
As unfortunate and heartbreaking being in a situation like this can feel, losing interest is a natural course of some relationships, and it is important to learn about these signs to ensure that we can best protect ourselves:
1. You can feel the lack of excitement when it comes to planning ahead. There was a time when your partner would jump at the idea to plan for future date ideas, but now, they don’t even consider your schedule when they’re planning for their upcoming week.
Suggestion: Work on rebuilding the intimacy by recollecting some of the sweeter, happier moments when you made each other feel loved, excited, and appreciated. How can you recreate those feelings again?
2. Your conversations feel forced. And when you do communicate or text, it gets dry real quick.
Suggestion: Express your desire to communicate more, and also include them in your daily life through texts and updates more! You could also tell your partner that it would mean a lot to you if they initiated the conversation more often so that it feels less one-sided on your part. If they do take this information to heart, you will know that they are still interested in the relationship.
3. You don’t feel supported, and like your partner is no longer there for you for the bigger events in life and also in the little things. It also feels as though you are the only one putting in effort in the relationship at this point.
Suggestion: There has to come a time where you sit and think about whether the relationship you are currently in is what you are willing to settle for, or if you deserve better. There’s no point thinking about the potential, or what it used to be, if your partner is already mentally checked out. A partner who is actually invested will want to work together to repair your relationship and get back on track. If not, don’t be afraid to walk away from a person who’s no longer willing to put in the time and effort necessary to maintain a supportive, loving connection.
Lastly, how long should you wait to date after a breakup?
When dealing with a breakup, the best thing to get out of it is the learning experience — what you can learn about your own personality and behaviour, for the events that contributed to your breakup, and similar breakup patterns from previous relationships. Once you feel like you’ve healed, moved on, and learned your lessons, you can try to put yourself out on the dating market again! Don’t feel pressured if you’re taking longer than usual — healing is not a linear process and there is no fixed timeline on when you will definitely be ready.
If you notice some of these signs in yourself, it’s a good indication that you’re able to date again:
You feel like you would be able and are ready to be a good partner
You’re content and enjoying your time alone
You’ve improved on your previous bad relationship habits
You’re over your previous relationship, and all it held in relation to the future you envisioned for yourself
In the time after your breakup, working on yourself by exploring new areas of interest or socialising more with your old and new friends can also allow you to gain self-confidence, and that is key when you start to date again.